COVID-19 FAQs for Prospective Study Abroad Students
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Updated Thursday 14 January

We are working hard to ensure we manage any impact that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) might have on Study Abroad students who will be joining us in January 2021. We will regularly update this page as more information becomes available, so please check back regularly.

If you have any immediate concerns or need assistance, please contact us at

Arrival in Ireland

We recognise that there are additional support considerations for students arriving in Ireland from overseas, as you prepare to book flights, confirm accommodation arrangements, and plan logistics. 

In order to protect public health and the safety of all students, staff, and the wider community, a range of measures is in place for students arriving in Ireland from overseas for the first time. These measures include:

  • A free transfer service to your on-campus or off-campus accommodation
  • Active monitoring of your health for a period of two weeks before and after your arrival
  • Targeted briefing from UCD on how to comply with Irish public health measures, and 
  • Support with accommodation and pastoral care for the 14-day period of restricted movement on arrival in Ireland.

These measures apply to all students (both EU and non-EU) entering Ireland for the first time. In line with the EU traffic lights approach, the request to restrict movements does not apply to travellers from green regions, or those arriving from Northern Ireland. Currently, all passengers entering Ireland from orange, red, and grey regions are requested to restrict their movements for 14 days.

In addition to the above measures, UCD Global will coordinate a series of social and cultural events throughout the month of January designed to assist and support new students commencing their studies in Ireland. These will be delivered both virtually and in-person (in line with public health guidelines), with support from a team of Global Guides who are all current students and who are available to provide peer support and advice. UCD Global works in tandem with other staff across UCD who are also available to guide you.

All international students entering Ireland for the first time should complete the New International Student Arrival Form as soon as your travel plans are confirmed. This will provide UCD with information about your arrival date and time, airline, flight number and accommodation. 

With your permission, UCD will share this information with a private bus or taxi service who will then meet you at Dublin Airport and arrange for your transfer to your accommodation.

Following submission of your Arrival Form to UCD, you can expect to receive an email with confirmation of your transfer instructions. This will be sent at least 3 days before your scheduled departure.

If your travel and arrival plans change, please email (at least 48 hours before you travel) to give us updated information.

If you do not complete the Arrival Form, UCD cannot coordinate your free airport transfer and you will need to organise private transport by yourself on arrival. Further information on public health guidelines for travelling to Ireland is available on the Health Service Executive website.

Please note, the current public health advice to restrict movements for 14 days on arrival in Ireland includes a request to avoid taking public transport during this period. We therefore request that all new international students inform us of their arrival details so we can provide the necessary support and information on arrival.

If you have previously made alternative transport arrangements from the airport, please let UCD Global know the details of your transport arrangements (mode, pick-up time, confirmation that social distancing guidelines are being adhered to) by emailing

We will provide further advice about how to manage the transfer to your accommodation safely, and how we will support you during your 14-day period of restricted movement. 

Yes – the free transfer service will run to UCD’s Belfield campus for students who are going to live in and/or restrict their movements in UCD Residences. It will run to private accommodation when you provide a specific address on the Arrival Form.

Yes. From Saturday 16 January 2021, all passengers arriving into Ireland are required to have a negative/’not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland. Passengers may be asked to present evidence of their negative/’not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry, and will be required to produce this evidence to Immigration Officers on arrival at points of entry to the State.

All UCD international students entering Ireland from overseas (from countries which are not in one of the green-regions) are required to actively monitor their health each day for a period of two weeks before and after arrival.

We will send you a self-declaration form which must be completed and returned to UCD in advance of your travel to Ireland, and again at the end of your 14-day restricted movement period in Ireland.

All international students are required to complete a health declaration form to UCD. This form must be completed on the day of your departure from your home country/international location and again at the end of your 14 days restricted movement in Ireland.   

Please note that you should defer your travel if you show symptoms of COVID-19 or receive a positive COVID-19 test prior to your departure date

You must be symptom-free for the 14-day period prior to your travel to Ireland, and UCD must receive your self-declaration form before you travel.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 at any point in the 14 days before you travel, you should seek urgent medical advice and defer your travel plans until you have recovered. In these circumstances, please alert us by emailing, and UCD Global staff will be in touch with you about your travel plans and to discuss access to at distance studies, as appropriate. 

Once you arrive in Ireland, you should complete the online briefing on how to comply with Irish public health measures. This briefing is available within Brightspace, UCD’s virtual learning environment. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any point in the 14 days after your arrival (during your period of restricted movement), please contact the UCD Student Health Service by phone to discuss your symptoms.

UCD has developed an INIS Supplementary Letter for this purpose which is available in your SIS Web account under 'My Applications' or 'Self-service documents'.

UCD recommends that all international students have the following documents in your hand luggage when you arrive in Ireland and present at Immigration Control:

  • Passport (with your valid entry visa if you require one)
  • UCD Offer Letter or Certificate of Attendance
  • INIS Supplementary Letter
  • Accommodation details

Prior to travel, please complete the online Irish Government COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. Please note that failure to complete the form could result in the issuing of penalties.

In addition, non-EU students should have the following additional documents to hand:

  • Evidence of private medical health insurance with detailed coverage information
  • Evidence of tuition fees paid, scholarship or sponsorship details or US Financial Aid (if applicable)
  • Evidence that you have access to at least €3,000

All documents should be originals and, if in a language other than English, accompanied by a translation. Further information about immigration procedures is available here.

Starting my Studies in UCD

The term dates for 2020/21 are available here

If a 14 day restricted movement period is still a public health requirement in January, then international students will need to arrive in Dublin on either Sunday, 3 January or Monday, 4 January to commence a two-week restricted movement period before commencing any in-person/small group activities on Monday, 18 January.

UCD expects to commence the spring trimester under the current government restrictions. This means that many of your classes will be delivered remotely with the same limited activities taking place on campus:

  • Practical and laboratory classes
  • Clinical teaching and associated activities
  • Studio classes
  • Practice-based teaching
  • Outdoor fieldwork
  • Some small group teaching such as tutorials and seminars where alternative arrangements are in place to support students who are not able to attend campus

Where you are required to attend campus to take classes, you should plan accordingly to be available to attend. If the direction from the government changes, Schools will be supported in providing face-to-face on-campus activities where they consider it educationally appropriate to do so in compliance with health and safety guidelines.

If your classes commence online in spring trimester and are subsequently made available on-campus, you may see a room displayed on the central timetable. However, UCD is committing to keep the online option available so that students who are not living in Dublin can complete their modules remotely. This means if you chose to live outside Dublin during the Spring trimester, you will not have to relocate if the restrictions ease.

Your safety and wellbeing are our priority.  We have implemented social distancing measures across our campuses. As part of our approach, we are using dedicated entrances and exits along with one-way systems where possible, queues and distance markers combined with other safety measures like hand sanitising stations. This measures apply to:

  • teaching and study spaces
  • residences
  • laboratories
  • social and sports facilities
  • libraries
  • outdoor spaces

Our buildings are cleaned and disinfected regularly in accordance with government and public health advice, and additional handwashing and sanitising facilities have been provided.

You can find the details of the measures UCD is taking in our Short Guide for Students Coming to Campus.

We will continue to follow government guidance and any action we take will be made with your safety in mind.

Many of our academics are undertaking world-leading research on public health and our pandemic response protocols are founded on the latest science and expertise. We are busy making our campus safe, putting appropriate social distancing and new cleaning measures in place.  Students will receive clear guidance on how our teaching spaces, libraries, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone’s safety. Students will be fully briefed on health and safety, as part of our welcome and induction activities. 

We will continue to follow government guidance between now and the proposed physical re-opening of our campus. Any action we take will be made with your safety in mind.  Plans are in place to ensure we can support you towards your desired learning outcomes, whatever the circumstances.

There are many ways that you can connect with UCD prior to arrival, some of which are listed below:

Advice for Prospective Study Abroad Students

The application deadline for the Spring trimester is 9 November 2020.

All new study abroad applications for study at UCD are treated as normal, irrespective of where you are from or currently reside. We are monitoring the situation closely and will update these FAQs as more information becomes available. Our advice is that you check back with us regularly for the latest advice and guidance. You can also contact for further assistance. 

Yes, if you are approved by your home university or provider– please still apply as the situation in all countries is likely to change over the next few months. We will continue to welcome applications from students approved by their home university or provider to take part in UCD’s study abroad programme.

If your application is successful, we will be in touch with you about the next steps leading up to registration. We will continue to follow public health guidelines and will be sure to notify any affected applicants should alternative arrangements apply.

We aim to process online applications to all Study Abroad Programmes within a two week timeframe (10 working days). The quick turnaround in decisions will allow applicants to plan accordingly for their semester abroad. If you have submitted an online application and have not received a decision within two weeks, please contact

Your application is important to us, and we are continuing to assess all applications as normal. If you are concerned about how COVID-19 may affect your plans to study at UCD once you have received a decision from us, please read the advice being shared with current students on campus.

We have extended the application deadline for the Spring (January 2021) trimester to 9 November. However, we are aware that delays may be unavoidable for you in providing the documentation needed to support your application. We aim to be as flexible as possible. If you require extra time to gather requested documentation, such as academic transcripts, please reach out to so that we are aware of any delays.

If you contract COVID-19 before you are due to travel to Ireland for the start of your course, you should not travel, and should follow all local health advice. You should wait for clear medical advice that you are no longer contagious before you consider travelling.

You should contact us at and inform us of your situation. 

Study Abroad tuition fees (whether paying UCD directly or paying through your home institution or provider) are not collected until the end of January.  There will be no financial implications for you if you decide to withdraw from the Study Abroad Programme you are enrolled in, up until the start of the January trimester teaching term.

We are continuing to assess new Study Abroad applications and are preparing to welcome our new students in January 2021 as normal. If you think that you can no longer commence your studies in January 2021, please contact your home university or provider and your UCD Study Abroad Programme Managers at



The health, welfare and safety of our students and staff is our primary concern currently. We want to reassure you that UCD is providing a solid framework of support for students and staff. We have been providing regular updates to the UCD community about our local response to COVID-19, based on the expert advice of Irish Government agencies. As Ireland's Global University, UCD researchers are contributing their academic expertise, specifically through membership of two global networks which are rapidly coordinating clinical research into new cases of COVID-19:

  • UCD is a member of the Global Virus Network, which coordinates laboratory research into rapid diagnostics for new emerging infections.
  • UCD also leads on an international Critical Care Network that conducts research into emerging infections.

Beyond these networks, one of UCD's leading medical researchers, Dr Cillian De Gascun, has been appointed to chair the expert advisory group to provide advice on COVID-19 to the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) and the National Public Health Emergency Team. Dr De Gascun is laboratory director at the UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory. Elsewhere on campus, members of the university community are volunteering at COVID-19 contact tracing call centres. You can also read more about this call centre in this news article